After consecutive training camps that lasted several grueling months, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight contender Chad Mendes is ready for a break on the heels of his victory over Darren Elkins at UFC on FOX 7.
When he returns to the Octagon, though, "Money" wants another shot at capturing the 145-pound title after coming up short in his first attempt.
Mendes (14-1) challenged reigning featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo for the title at UFC 142 in Jan. 2012, but unfortunately was knocked out in the first round in his one and only career defeat.
Since that fight, Mendes has climbed back up the ladder with three-straight first-round knockout victories, including a 68-second destruction of Elkins Saturday night (April 20, 2013) at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
Ranked as the No. 1 contender in his weight class according the official UFC rankings and with his only mixed martial arts (MMA) defeat coming to the champion, Mendes feels he has earned a second chance to win the belt.
Moreover, he would like that chance to take place before the end of the calendar year.
"I would really like to fight for the title this year," Mendes told media members at the UFC on FOX 7 post-fight press conference (watch it here). "But ultimately it's up to the UFC and these guys."
Even though he is ranked as the top contender in his weight class, Mendes will have to wait a while to get his shot at the gold as Aldo is currently scheduled to defend his crown against former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) lightweight champion Anthony Pettis in the main event of UFC 163 on Aug. 3, 2013.
Fortunately, though, that break may be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Team Alpha-Male product, as Mendes competed at UFC on FX 6 in Dec. 2012, was training for a fight against Manny Gamburyan at UFC 157 in February before the bout was scratched days out from the event and then had the most recent fight against Elkins.
Such an active schedule took its toll on Mendes' body and with the 27-year-old coming off nearly half a year of consecutive training camps, he is ready for some downtime.
"Right now I'm going to take a little bit of time off," said Mendes. "I mean, that was three camps back-to-back-to-back for me, so I just want to rest for a couple weeks."
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